[INTERVIEW] SWAYLÓ Sheds Light On His New Anthem, ‘GLOBAL ACID JACK’, Promoting Unique Experiences, + More

SWAYLÓ

| October 14, 2023

In a world where musical boundaries blur and creativity knows no limits, genre-blending producer SWAYLÓ stands at the forefront of innovation. With his roots spanning from the Zuni Pueblo to the Navajo reservation and influenced by a rich tapestry of global cultures, SWAYLÓ's sound is a unique fusion of organic instrumentation and dance music.

His latest single, “GLOBAL ACID JACK,” showcases his diverse sonic palette, taking listeners on a spellbinding journey. Beyond music, SWAYLÓ is shaping the future of the electronic scene through his label ANCIENT FUTURE PRESENT, curating unforgettable dancefloor experiences. Join us as we delve into “GLOBAL ACID JACK” and his other immersive projects.

Check out our exclusive interview with SWALYÓ below. 

 

iEDM: What is the inspiration behind your new single, “GLOBAL ACID JACK,” and what led you to make this particular track?

SWAYLÓ: I wanted to create an authentic tech and acid house club banger, along with giving it a psychedelic and outer-dimensional type of feeling. Space travel was something I had in mind when making this.

iEDM: You mentioned the influence of tribal instrumentation in “GLOBAL ACID JACK.” How do you incorporate these global textures into your music, given your diverse background? 

SWAYLÓ: I like to bring in different percussion from around the world and various folk instrumentation, then blend them together. This gives a nice organic texture which can be paired with more futuristic synthy and technological sounds. I find this to wet the palette for the listener.

 

iEDM: Why did you choose the TB-303 acid synth line as one of the driving forces in “GLOBAL ACID JACK”? What is its intended effect on the listener, and how does it intertwine with the rest of the instrumental?

SWAYLÓ: I definitely wanted to create a vibe that was a nostalgic club throwback. With the TB-303, it makes the song reminiscent of something you would hear in Fight Club. I wanted the song to be able to bump to it in the club, or if they are listening to it outside a rave or show, it will take them back. The TB-303 also complements the vocal, which is pretty commanding and the focal point of the track.

SWAYLÓiEDM: Could you share some insights into the significance of releasing “GLOBAL ACID JACK” during the Waxing Gibbous moon phase? How does astrology play a role in your creative process?

SWAYLÓ: I certainly like to release in sync with the moons, which is energetically pleasing. The new moons and full moons are very powerful times. They each have their significance, and then there is additionally the harvest moon. It is around equinox, when we are going from summer to fall. This is a big transition, and by aligning the release of my music with this time it provides a bit more meaning and importance, to myself and the people on this journey with me. 

The shift between summer to fall is a great time to make goals while looking back at what you have accomplished from the beginning of the year. Of course, the main purpose of harvest moon is to signal the time to harvest your crops and the fruits of your labor. Self-reflection is a similar to this metaphorically, where we can contemplate what we want to work towards next year. 

“GLOBAL ACID JACK” is a thrilling track with a ton of energy. This is synced with our passion being the driving force that pushes us in the right direction. Releasing it with the Waxing Gibbous and harvest moon, invites the listener on this positive journey.

 

iEDM: What message or feeling do you hope listeners take away from “GLOBAL ACID JACK,” and how does it fit into the larger narrative of your music career and artistic vision?

SWAYLÓ: A lot of it was working through chaos. To find order was really the intention of this track. There are chaotic and intense, screechy and darker sounds incorporated than what I usually use in my music. Although the listener is going through this, the song shows that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The track ultimately has the intention to motivate its audience to overcome the obstacles they face and push through.

iEDM: “GLOBAL ACID JACK” seems to blend traditional and futuristic elements. How do you strike a balance between nostalgia and innovation in your music?

SWAYLÓ: Finding the balance between those two components is the answer to forging great music. For me, it is crucial to be as present as possible. But I also try to find balance with referencing older sounds and folk sounds from our elders. I take influence from things people have done before and pioneer forward into a new world, a more technological world, a world of uncertainty and mystery. 

All of these elements combined allow me to dive into the unknown and make something that has never been heard before. My project is centered around the mystery of life, and accepting that mystery. Whether it is from the past, future, or rooted in the present.

 

iEDM: The track's production seems to evolve in two distinct sections. What narrative or atmosphere were you trying to convey through these transitions?

SWAYLÓ: I spoke on this a bit earlier, but to elaborate, the chaos is presenting a sense of distortion that is overlapped with the main driving force of “GLOBAL ACID JACK”.  Through the song, the theme of resilience is strong, and the message is that we are not alone, we are in this together.

 

iEDM: Your music often blends various genres like afro-house, melodic house, and tech house. How do you decide on the main genre or style for each track, and what drives your genre-fusing approach?

SWAYLÓ: It is based on the heartbeat of music, in my case dance and house. I aim for my music to be a force for positivity and light. Due to this, the blend of genres come naturally and are rooted in these core elements. 

iEDM: As an artist and promoter, how do your experiences curating events and your individual project intersect? How do they influence each other?

SWAYLÓ: I am so grateful to be on a path where I am pursuing both careers as an artist and promoter. It is not always easy, and there are plenty of challenges to navigate, but it is very fulfilling. The two truly complement one another; I learn from both sides. Being an artist makes me a better promoter, and being a promoter makes me a better artist.

At the same time, it is vital to be able to separate the two and know the appropriate hat to wear at specific moments. There is a time and place for everything. I am not the type of promoter that is constantly booking myself for the shows I throw. To be an event organizer, you have to be disciplined, letting your love and appreciation for putting on a good experience guide you. I have respect for both sides of my journey in music.

 

iEDM: What sparked your decision to launch your imprint and event series, ANCIENT FUTURE PRESENT? What is its mission in the electronic music landscape?

SWAYLÓ: First and foremost, its overall vision and mission stem from my sole purpose. I wish to share new expressions of music, art, and experience with the world. Also, it is very challenging to release music. Some labels are not too supportive, so if they aren’t going to do it, why not do it ourselves? 

I would have to say the mindset was at play, in addition to encourage others to spread their music. There is occasional gatekeeping in the industry and barriers to entry for up-and-coming artists; I hope ANCIENT FUTURE PRESENT provides a platform for these artists to grow their projects. The more we empower each other, the more we will collectively flourish.

iEDM: What are some of the challenges you faced when starting up ANCIENT FUTURE PRESENT and building its recognition? How did you overcome these, and what advice would you give to other artists who want to launch their own event series?

SWAYLÓ: As a label, there are a lot of expenses to make sure the music you release is justifiably supported. You have got PR, club and radio promotion, digital advertising, and content creation, to name a few. Things can get pretty costly, pretty quickly. Marketing can be expensive as well.

At the end of the day, it is all about investing in yourself and as an artist you get to keep all of your royalties when running your label. I believe that this trend will continue to catch on, and we will see more and more artists launching their own imprints. The power is going back to the hands of the creators.

In regard to building recognition, patience and consistency are key. Understand that you will likely not see gains immediately, but once you start somewhere, the only way is up.

 

iEDM: You have performed at a wide spectrum of festivals and venues, from Electric Forest to EDC Mexico. Is there a memorable moment or performance that stands out as a turning point in your career?

SWAYLÓ: I love all of it. I love performing because I have learned so much working with people with various energies and in various spaces. Festivals are totally different in format, experience, and energy, than being in a club. Even the atmospheres of clubs deviate, from an intimate club to much bigger ones.

At EDC Mexico, I had a pretty early slot and I thought to myself, “oh snap, I am playing to a pretty light crowd here. This is an opportunity to really pull people in.” I kept a positive fram of mind and the entire experience was amazing. For any artist, it is important to enjoy the come up, being grateful for where you are and what you have achieved.

SWAYLÓ, EDC MexicoFor Electric Forest, I played three sets that were all awesome in their own way. Each set was completely unique from one another.

Electric Forest, SWAYLÓiEDM: Your music videos, like “Burning Fire,” always feature captivating visuals. How do you set about the visual aspect of your music, specifically for “Burning Fire”? How does it complement the auditory side of the track?

SWAYLÓ: To be honest, this project was very spontaneous. We did not have a structured plan. My dear friend Phoenix is a fire dancer and was out in Las Vegas for an event. She told me she was shooting in the desert with some of her girls and would love to make something with me.

So I came out there with them and we had a lot of fun, just getting in the moment and letting things flow. There was no clear vision at the time for what the content would be used for, but I had recently released “Burning Fire”. The track clearly syncopated with the environment and footage.

It was super cool to work with Thor Wixom, who filmed and edited the entire video. He is extremely talented and works with Insomniac, along with other cools festivals and events. Sometimes, the most awesome art is making it with no plans, ideas, or expectations. 

iEDM: You have a unique blend of cultural influences from your upbringing. How do these cultural roots manifest in your music, both in terms of sound and your overall vision?

SWAYLÓ: Culturally, I connect to the oneness, the unity of humanity. Everyone has differences on the inside and out, but we all have something to offer. It is intriguing that everyone gas unique stories, traditions, visions, values, and interpretations. It is woven into every aspect of my sound and overall vision. My music is all about connecting with the world. Unifying!

 

iEDM: As someone with a diverse background and a global perspective, how do you see the future of dance music evolving, and how do you aim to contribute to it?

SWAYLÓ: I see things moving more into experiential space – multisensory – audio, visual, smell, touch, and taste. Creating a whole world of experience and exploration. I have noticed concertgoers wanting to connect more, so creating ways to help people engage with one another is important to me.

 

iEDM: Is there a dream venue or festival you would like to headline in the future, and why? Also, what geographic location or landscape do you think would be most suited for your style of music?

SWAYLÓ: I love playing out in nature, such as at the ocean, or in the desert. I also love playing in super high fidelity clubs!!

 

iEDM: Are there any upcoming projects or collaborations you're excited about sharing with your fans?

SWAYLÓ: Lots of releases on the ANCIENT FUTURE PRESENT imprint. I am also working on an album for next year. There are definitely a few exciting collaborations in the works, but I need to keep them mysterious for now. Also, I am working on some sonic meditations and sound healing projects!

SWAYLO

Photos courtesy of SWALYÓ and @jennicamaephoto.

 

CONNECT WITH SWAYLÓ: INSTAGRAM | SPOTIFY | SOUNDCLOUD | YOUTUBE | TWITTER

 

Read more iEDM Exclusive Interviews HERE!

 

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CONNOR PHILLIPS

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Fueled by his passion for EDM, Connor’s life revolves around dance music and its ability to bring people together. Raised in upstate New York, Connor was deprived of festivals and raves until he attended Florida State University, where he was instantly hooked. Fast-forward to today and Connor has become a house and melodic techno DJ, an avid EDM-based interviewer and writer, and has worked PR for the likes of Matroda, Bleu Clair, and other new-wave house icons.

Outside of music, Connor loves pretty much any sport (huge Knicks, Yankees, and NY Giants fan), going on hikes, traveling, and food. Based in Florida, there’s a good chance you will eventually run into Connor at one of the popular festivals and clubs throughout the state.

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